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An Encouraging Sign: A Pair of Musicals About Black Lives to be Revived by New York City Center

Updated: Sep 29, 2020


“'The Life' and 'The Tap Dance Kid,' which focus on people of color in Manhattan, are planned for the 2020-2021 season of Encores!, the center’s popular series."


New York City Center is giving two musicals that focus on stories of people of color, but were never revived on the city's biggest stages, another shot.

The two musicals announced include, “The Life,” a gritty musical about the hustlers and prostitutes who inhabited Times Square in the early 1980s, and “The Tap Dance Kid,” about an aspiring 10-year-old dancer whose dreams are scorned by his hard-driving lawyer father.

This coming season will be the first under Lear deBessonet, who is the newly installed Encores! artistic director. Clint Ramos, the first person of color to win a Tony Award for costume design of a play for his work on “Eclipsed,” in 2016, will also take on the newly created role of Encores! producing creative director.

Only time will tell, but one can only hope that this is not simply a one time deal. That true diversity continues to spread throughout Broadway and the arts industry as a whole. We must work hard to make sure that stories from the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities are being shared.

Originally published on September 18, 2020 by Sarah Bahr

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